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PBC denies application for day parole from convicted North Kentville child pornographer

<p>Jason Troy Pitts of North Kentville pleaded guilty to 10 child pornography offences during an Oct. 27 court appearance. His case has been before the courts since early 2012.</p>
The Parole Board of Canada has denied an application for pre-release day parole from Jason Troy Pitts, a North Kentville man serving a seven-year federal sentence for conspiring to commit sexual assaults on children and for making, possessing and accessing child pornography. FILE PHOTO

Special conditions previously imposed on Pitts’s upcoming statutory release

KENTVILLE, N.S. —

The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) has denied an application for pre-release day parole from a North Kentville man serving a seven-year federal sentence for sex crimes involving children.

Jason Troy Pitts, 44, was sentenced in February 2014 to five years on eight counts of conspiring to commit sexual assault on a child and two years for charges of making, possessing and accessing child pornography.

The court also granted a DNA order, a forfeiture order for items seized, a Section 161 order preventing Pitts from attending anywhere where children are present or can reasonably be expected to be present and a lifetime Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA) order.

The PBC reviewed Pitts’s application for pre-release day parole on July 19. A written decision states that the board is of the opinion that – by re-offending – Pitts would present an undue risk to society and therefore denied his application.

Considering the risk that Pitts poses, the board believes that his release plan does not contain sufficient risk management strategies.

“The board considers you a high risk to re-offend sexually and the limited gains you achieved from programming are not sufficient to successfully manage your risk factors in the community,” the decision states.

It goes on to say that Pitts has very limited community supports and “any type of release would require significant interventions from the community.”

A psychological risk assessment from September 2017 – the most recent on file – estimated Pitts’s risk to re-offend in a sexual manner as “well above average” in comparison to other sexual offenders. His profile is associated with a 29 per cent chance of re-offending, including breaches, over a three-year period following his release.

Pitts’s static risk for re-offending sexually was assessed as being “above average” and his dynamic risk for sexual recidivism was assessed in the “high range”. The report concluded that, should Pitts re-offend, he is considered to be at moderate risk in terms of the severity.

In his application for parole, Pitts said he wants to work full-time, attend the ICPM Community Maintenance Program, look into attending a trade school and work with the Circle of Support and Accountability, a restorative community safety program.

The decision states that Pitts does not have confirmed accommodation and does not have the support of a community based residential facility (CBRF). His case management team is of the opinion that Pitts’s risk is not currently assumable or manageable on day parole.

“They also believe that this form of early conditional release, in your case, is not conducive to public safety,” the decision states.

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) advises that a community strategy for Pitts was not completed, as he lacks the support of his case management team and his reintegration potential is rated low. Local police are “strongly opposed” to Pitts being granted day parole and the CSC recommended that day parole be denied.

Pitts has a history of severe developmental trauma and childhood deprivation. He has been diagnosed with paedophilic disorder. The CSC notes that it has had concerns regarding Pitts’s mental health with respect to suicidal ideation and self-harm.

Day parole allows an offender to participate in community-based activities in preparation for full parole or statutory release. Offenders on day parole must return nightly to a CBRF or halfway house, unless otherwise authorized by the PBC. There are standard conditions for day parole and special conditions can also be imposed.

In a recent, separate decision, the PBC imposed special conditions on Pitts’s upcoming statutory release, including that he must reside at a community correctional centre, a CBRF or other residential facility – such as a private home placement – approved by the CSC until his warrant expiry date.

Statutory release is not parole and is not a decision of the PBC but a mandatory release by law. Most offenders, except those serving a life or indeterminate sentence, must be released by the Correctional Service of Canada with supervision after serving two-thirds of their sentence – if parole has not already been granted.

FACTS OF THE CASE

At his sentencing hearing on Feb. 4, 2015, the court heard that Pitts was involved in an online web streaming organization where he was communicating with individuals in the Philippines. Pitts was having children perform sexual acts with other children or with women for money.

There were five or six live shows and, in two instances, Pitts recorded these on his computer. Pitts had a collection of child porn images and videos aside from the recordings of the live shows. Police reported more than 50 money transfers between Pitts and his contacts abroad between January 2011 and April 2012.

He was in communication with one woman who had an eight to 11-year-old child she referred to as her daughter. Pitts opined about bringing the woman and young girl to Canada and Pitts referred to himself as “daddy” in some conversations.

Kirk.starratt@kingscountynews.ca

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